Monday, March 15, 2010

Mattie Moss Clark, Elma Hendrix, and Lucylle Lemon: Detroit's Big Three

During Women's History Month, we salute three powerful women in Detroit's gospel music history known throughout the 1960s and 1970s as The Big Three: Mattie Moss Clark, Elma Hendrix, and Lucylle Lemon.

Dr. Mattie Moss Clark found initial fame as a director and songwriter with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, reportedly the first Church of God in Christ state choir to be organized (1959). Later, she influenced hundreds of artists, including her daughters, the famed Clark Sisters, in her role as recording artist, record producer, and head of the music department for the entire Church of God in Christ.

Elma Lois Hendrix Parham founded the Community Youth Ensemble, established her own music publishing company, and owned Elma and Carl's House of Music on Owen Street in Detroit, a record and music store that became a meeting place for gospel fans and artists. Among those whose music she published was Mattie Moss Clark.

Lucylle Lemon served as a choir director at the New Bethel Baptist Church and founded the Lucylle Lemon Gospel Chorus, reportedly the first gospel community choir organized in Detroit (1943). Within the chorus were smaller groups with unique names like the Lemonaires and the Lemon Specials. Among her most famous members were Delores and David Winans, AKA Mom and Pop Winans, who met each other as teenagers while members of the Lemon Gospel Chorus.

And you thought "The Big Three" only referred to the auto giants!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Marvin Sapp - The Best In Me

For the millions of fans of Pastor Marvin Sapp, March 16 is the release day for his latest CD featuring more great music from "the preacher who happens to sing," as he puts it. I--and a couple thousand others--were present when he recorded this CD in his hometown at the end of 2009. This first single is already a favorite....Enjoy the video!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mattie Moss Clark - Short History (Tribute)

Dr. Mattie Moss Clark was an icon for many and a hero of mine. Here is why: while she respected the past, she also believed in moving forward musically. During Women's History Month, let's remember this great choir director, composer, singer, record producer and vocal coach!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Youtube of Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard, Contemporary Gospel Music Expert and see the book that started it all!